At the 10-game mark, the offseason rust should have finally disappeared from our favorite NBA players and teams should have started to “gel.” Individual statistics might still be skewed by some strange early season games but results should be starting to average out.
It’s time for an early review of how the Raptors’ players have rounded into form.
As each game passes, Calderon has been regaining that near all-star form of two seasons ago. After Finding his Stride in New Orleans, his dead eye shooting stroke has returned and his defensive intensity has been excellent.
Calderon averages for the first five games were:
11 points; 5.8 assists; 1.6 turnovers. Shooting 41.6% from the field.
A little off for Jose, but over the next five games these averages increased to:
14 points; 7.6 assists; 1.0 turnovers. Shooting 58.8% from the field with a 7.6:1 Assist to Turnover ratio!!!
After a slow start, Jose Calderon is definitely back on track!
He still looks like a rookie at times, and Jay Triano has limited his minutes to about 18 per game, but DeRozan has played well most nights.
DeRozan averages for the first 10 games are:
5 points; 3.1 rebounds; 1.1 assists; 0.5 steals; 0.8 blocks. Shooting 44% from the field.
Those blocks by a rookie guard are especially impressive!
But there has been nothing wrong with the:
14.5 points; 4.7 rebounds; 3.5 assists; 0.8 steals; and 0.7 blocks
Turkoglu has already contributed in his first 10 games.
Hitting on 46.5 percent of his shots, Turkoglu is shooting better than his 43 percent career average.
Signing the 30 year-old veteran made sense for the Raptors. Expect the big small forward to only get better.
Maybe its the contract year , but Chris Bosh has been a monster to start the season. Going inside for baskets and foul shots more than at any point in his career. Even with more scoring options on the Raptors than ever before, Bosh is proving that he still carries the Raptors offensive load.
Over the first 10 games, Bosh has averaged an impressive:
27.7 points; 11.6 rebounds; 0.6 steals; 1.0 blocks. Shooting 50% from the field.
Third in rebounding and sixth in scoring, it’s Bosh’s league leading 12.9 free throw attempts per game that really illustrate just how much better Bosh is playing than at any point in his career.
One might throw in Bosh’s 6-7 from the three-point line just for interest!
After an exceptionally hot start to the season, Andrea Bargnani seems to have settled into a more anticipated level of play. But by no means is that bad!
In his first 10 games, Bargnani has averaged:
19.3 points; 5.7 rebounds; 0.5 steals; 1.1 blocks. Shooting 50% from the field and leading the Raptors in blocks.
Andrea has hit a three-pointer in every game this season and has hit multiple three-pointers in seven games. Effectively stretching defenses for Chris Bosh’s new inside presence.
But more will be expected from the Raptors biggest man this season to answer the question, Did the Raptors over-pay Andrea Bargnani this summer?
Jack has played the most minutes off the bench so far this season but with inconsistent results. Playing well and poorly, often in the same game.
In his 23.3 minutes per game, Jack is averaging:
6.4 points; 2.5 assists; 2 turnovers. Shooting just 35.4%.
A big potential issue is the minutes Jack is playing with Jose Calderon. Can Jarrett Jack play shooting guard?
It looks like minutes at off guard is hurting Jack’s game!
Antoine Wright missed his first game of the season against the Suns with an ankle injury. But over his first nine games, Wright has become an important player in Jay Triano’s rotation averaging 21.2 minutes per game.
Brought in primarily for his defense, his season averages reflect this:
5.8 points; 3.1 rebounds; 1.1 assists; 0.33 blocks. Shooting 31.5%, Ouch!
Antoine Wright has brought a measure of toughness to the Raptors and has proven his case for minutes.
The only knock on his game being that he forgets that the reason he is left open sometimes is the other team wants him to shoot!
When you are known primarily as an offensive player, sometimes it can be hard to get minutes on a team looking for defense off the bench. But recently Jay Triano has discovered the benefits of playing Marco Belinelli.
In his first 10 games in 17.4 minutes, Belinelli has averaged:
8.2 points; 1 rebound; 1.6 assists; o.7 steals. Shooting 49.2% from the field and 50% from three.
But over the last four games in 22.5 minutes, he has averaged 11 points shooting 53.6% from the field and 58.8% from three. Marco Belinelli is a shooting star!
Belinelli has benefited from a recent reduction in Jack’s minutes and from Wright’s injury. And from the way Belinelli has played, he doesn’t want to give those minutes back!
Detroit gave up on the very athletic but under-weight “hybrid” forward when they shipped him off to save salary this summer. But based on his first 10 games for the Raptors, it looks like the Pistons actions may have been premature.
In 16.3 minutes, Amir Johnson has averaged:
4.5 points; 4.8 rebounds; 0.5 steals; 0.2 blocks. Shooting 59.3%.
But Amir Johnson got off to a slow start with the Raptors. In his last five games, there has been a significant improvement. In 21.2 minutes, he has averaged:
6 points; 6.8 rebounds; 0.8 steals; 0.4 blocks.
As important, Johnson has been active and effective on defensive. The disruptive defensive player the Raptors thought this athlete could be.
It’s been hoped Amir Johnson could be the next Marcus Camby.
Reggie Evans remains out with a sprained foot.
Rasho Nesterovic is only seeing spot duty.
Sonny Weems missed a number of games due to injury and is behind Antoine Wright and Marco Belinelli for back-up minutes.
Marcus Banks and Patrick O’Bryant are not expected to play often.
Quincy Douby has been given his release to make room for the newest Raptor, Pops Mensah-Bonsu!